Summer is over. Everyone (but me) is going back to school, and I have to say, I'm ready for fall. It's not that I'm necessarily sick of the hot weather because I haven't had to endure too much of it. I was in the land of cool temps, the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Now that I'm back in "Hell"ahassee, I am sorry for those who had to suffer with this miserable heat and humidity.
Like many of you, I can’t believe how quickly the summer months passed. Since it's over, I can get busy living the retired life, whatever that is.
Whenever I complete chunks of time, I like to reflect on how I spent them, and I can say that parts of this summer are ones that I don’t want to repeat. During these months, I kept thinking of this phrase that I used to say to my yearbook students when they weren’t designing their pages the way I had taught them. I’d tell them, “You just aren’t sharing my vision!”
This summer, I don’t think any of my family members shared my vision I had for me and them. What I had planned for the summer was getting to the cooler temperatures, kicking back and reading lots of books, writing blog posts in order to get ahead, hiking and swimming every day, and laughing a lot. My plan for them was to occupy themselves and leave me alone unless I wanted or needed them. What actually happened was far from my vision.
Much of my summer was spent driving and taking people where they wanted or needed to go. I went to Charlotte, NC, twice to take my daughter to the airport and bus station. I went to Brevard, NC, three times to take/visit/pick-up Drew at camp. I went to Tallahassee and back for my husband’s doctor appointment.
The only fun trips were to Charlotte to see Taylor Swift and to Ashville to see the Biltmore. The other driving was for the necessary shopping but in all, I put over 7,000 miles on my van in 2.5 months.
I also envisioned not cooking this summer. I thought everyone would be satisfied with sandwiches and cereal. Nope. They actually wanted cooked food EVERY DAY, so I had to make daily trips to the grocery store because when you are in an RV, there’s not a lot of food storage. I got into a rut of shop, cook and clean up.
This summer I also didn’t have a washer/dryer and had to go to the Laundromat weekly. When I was in college, the one I used cost $.10 each to wash and dry. Now it costs at least $2.00 to wash and $2.00 to dry. That’s for one load of clothes, and never did I have one load this summer. Also, the machines only took quarters, and I became obsessed with searching for quarters to feed the white monsters.
Now that summer's over and I'm back home, I may have to adjust my retirement vision. I thought I'd have lazy days when I could binge-watch TV, read an entire book in a day or lounge by the pool all day. The problem is that I look around at all the yard and house work that I put off until I wasn't working and think that I should get busy.
When does this easy life of retirement that people used to tell me about actually start? Maybe that tale was just someone else's vision that will never become a reality.
I hope I'm wrong.